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2008.03.20 > For Immediate Release
contact: Beverly Newsam - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - e-mail: bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu

Gandhi Symposium, Award Luncheon April 4

Omaha - The 11th annual University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) School of Social Work Gandhi Symposium and Award Luncheon is set for Friday, April 4.  The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the DC Centre, 11830 Stonegate Circle.  

Michael Petit, president of the Every Child Matters Education Fund in Washington, D.C., will lead the symposium and speak at the luncheon, which starts at 12:15 p.m.  His presentation is titled "Making Children and Youth a Political Priority in 2008."

Founded by Petit in 2001, the Every Child Matters Education Fund aims to raise the visibility of children's issues and make them a political priority.  Petit also has served as director and deputy director of the Child Welfare League of America.

During the luncheon, the 2008 Gandhi Award will be presented to Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach (MTKO).  MTKO, established in 1992, is a faith-based hunger relief and outreach program that serves meals twice daily, year-round, to homeless and near homeless men, women and children in Lincoln, Neb.

MTKO serves the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the working poor and homeless through outreach, advocacy, education and the provision of food and shelter.   Expanded services include on-site health clinics, basic and emergency needs, and life skills training.  MTKO is dependent upon volunteer support, be it time, talent or financial contributions.

The UNO School of Social Work Gandhi Award, presented annually since 1999, honors individuals and organizations that exemplify Mahatma Gandhi's principles of nonviolence, selfless service and social action - which are consistent with social work values. 

"We are very excited to honor Matt Talbot Kitchen and have Michael Petit join us for this special event," said Theresa Barron-McKeagney, director of the UNO School of Social Work.  "It is so important to encourage the advocacy of children and their families because it directly influences our future and theirs."

Space is limited, so participants should pre-register for the events immediately. To register, contact Ashlie Hurt at ahurt@mail.unomaha.edu.  On-site registration will be conducted on a space-available basis.  Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota social workers may receive 4.0 CEUs for attending the symposium.   

The cost to attend the symposium, including the luncheon, is $20 for students and $75 for non-students.  The cost to attend only the luncheon is $25. Scholarships are available for full-time social work students to attend the symposium.

For more information, call (402) 554-2792 or (402) 554-2793.

***

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning Oct. 8, 2008.  This celebration will recognize the partnership among the city of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community.  The centennial theme is "UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908."  This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.  For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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